Reading And Editing With Journalist Shevi Arnold

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About Shevi Arnold

I’ve been a journalist of some kind for over 12 years, starting in 1987. I’ve been an editorial cartoonist, a newspaper illustrator, a comics magazine editor, an arts-and-entertainment writer, and a consumer columnist. When I left journalism in 2001 to focus on taking care of my autistic son, I switched from writing and drawing articles and cartoons to writing and drawing books.

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How And When Did You Get Started Writing?

I’ve always been a writer. The first piece of writing I got paid for was an article about comics in Israel, and it was printed in The Comics Journal, an American magazine for comics professionals. Not sure, but I think that was the year before I became an editorial cartoonist. I love writing about my passions, and I’m passionate about comics.

What Does Literary Success Look Like To You?

Every time someone writes a review to tell the world they love one of my books is a success to me. (Though it would be nice if I could make a living of writing and illustrating again, like I did when I was a journalist.)

What Actionable Tips And Tricks Do You Have For New Writers That They Can Apply Now On Their Journey As Budding Writers?

I know everyone says it, but it’s true: to become a great writer, you must read. Read, read, read. Read the classics in your genre. Read popular books in your genre. Read books about writing and publishing. And analyze what you read. Take it apart. Figure it out. Ask yourself how the writing affects you and why and what would you have done differently.

Also, put your own spin on your writing. Learn to write in your own unique voice. So often I see new writers who are upset because they think their story is exactly like someone else’s. Well, there’s an easy fix to that, isn’t there? Simply write a story that’s uniquely yours, a story only you could have written.

Lastly, edit, edit, edit. I’ll sometimes write several versions of the same scene, so I can choose my favorite. Good writing is 90 percent good editing.

What Are Common Traps For Aspiring Writers?

Too many aspiring writers take criticism personally. Don’t.

As Neil deGrasse Tyson says, “I love being wrong, because that means, in that instant, I learned something new.”

Take criticism of your writing as a chance to learn something new. Maybe it will help improve your writing, and you should always be working toward making your writing better.

If You Could Tell Your Younger Writing Self Anything, What Would It Be?

Buy Amazon stock.

What Are Your Favorite Books? Fiction And/ Or Non-Fiction?

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, The Last Unicorn, The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl by Ryan North and Erica Henderson, Hyperbole and a Half, and You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost). Also, the books I’m currently working on in the Gilbert the Fixer series.

Anything You’d Like To Plug?

Why My Love Life Sucks (The Legend of Gilbert the Fixer, book one)

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